How to Craft the Perfect Email Subject Line

Photo Credit: @sarahkbenning

If you think you can get away with “Read Our Newsletter” as a compelling subject line, think again. We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this subject line and anything just as vague will not entice your subscribers to open your email. Just like any other form of marketing copy, emails need to be compelling to your audience, and it starts with the subject line. From filling out the preheader to finding the right tone, learn how to write a glowing subject line that stands out in your audience’s inbox.

Get to the Point

There’s no need to jam all of the information into the subject line when you have an entire email to utilize. Be as concise as possible to give readers a glimpse into what they’ll find after opening the email. Whether they are reading on a mobile device, tablet or desktop, you don’t want to risk your copy getting cut off. Your readers won’t always take the time to read long, drawn out subject lines when their inbox is filled with 100+ emails. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention with a short, punchy subject line.

Switch up your tone

An invitation to an event they need to sign up for within 24 hours should sound different than an informative email about an exclusive program. Conveying emotion that connects with your subscribers could land you a higher open rate. If they only have a few hours to make a move, let them know: “Only 12 Hours Left!” Are you announcing an exciting sale or launch? Get them excited about it too by starting with expressions like “omgeee” if you have a millennial audience, or “Have You Heard?” Just remember to stay true to your brand voice when conveying these different emotions.

Test them out

One of the best ways to improve your subject lines is to let your audience choose. A/B testing can provide valuable feedback to help you tailor your subject lines to your reader’s preference. But it has to be done right. Whether you’re testing out two different words, emoji or no emoji, or question versus statement, test minor changes to get the best results. One small tweak can resonate with subscribers more than your original copy.

Use the Preheader

It is not an extra, unnecessary step in the email process. The preheader, also known as the preview text, compliments your subject lines, allows you more space to get creative with your copy, and gives you a chance to elaborate more about what’s inside. It’s important that your subject line makes sense on its own because it may not be visible depending on the device and email service. However, when people do see the preview text, it can give them the push they need to click open. When you don’t set the preview text, the email service will use the copy in your email to set it for you, which can form generic or confusing wording.


Stay tuned for more! Next week we’re leaking the popular subject line mistakes you should avoid.

Until then, here are four tips on integrating your email campaign with social media!







Follow Shanice Gravesandy:
Shanice is an experienced journalist and marketer with a background in email marketing, copywriting and online publishing. She is a Content Editor at KWSM and has a passion for visual storytelling.